The earlier, the better, says health body

The earlier, the better, says health body

‘The earlier, the better’ campaign is an online, radio and poster campaign from NHS England that targets the elderly and their families, carers or friends, and encourages  them to seek the advice of pharmacists as soon as they start to feel unwell.

The campaign aims to help reduce the number of people who use urgent and emergency care services, when their illnesses could have been more effectively treated earlier through self-care or with the help of community pharmacy services.

A spokesperson at NHS West Lancashire CCG, said: “It is important that people get advice from their local pharmacist as soon as they start to feel unwell. Identifying symptoms early and treating them before they develop can help to reduce the pressure on urgent and emergency services, later on.”

“The winter months provide a busy time for A&E services, with people more likely to fall in icy conditions or have respiratory problems caused by the cold weather. Minor injuries and ailments can put further strain on these services. People can treat most minor injuries and ailments themselves, or visit their pharmacy who are well equipped to help”

Information is available on the NHS non-emergency helpline 111 or on the NHS website, www.nhs.uk, where people can find out more about dealing with their symptoms.

For a list of other health services available locally, please visit our Examine Your Options news page

The new campaign suggests the following advice:

For the elderly

  • If you’re feeling under the weather, get help as soon as possible. See your local pharmacist or get advice from www.nhs.uk/asap
  • Speak to your friends, family or carer if you are feeling under the weather. They can help you to get advice from your local pharmacist or from www.nhs.uk/asap.
  • If you have a bad cough, trouble breathing, a cold or sore throat, tell your friends, family or carer before it gets worse. 
  • Getting advice from your local pharmacist or by visiting www.nhs.uk/asap early may help prevent your bad cough, trouble breathing, cold, or sore throat from getting worse.
  • Local pharmacists provide expert advice to help you manage your long-term condition or can even help you if you have a bad cough, trouble breathing, a cold or sore throat. They have longer opening hours than GP practices, and most have a private consultation area. They’ll also tell you if they think you should see a doctor.

For friends, family and carers

  • If you are visiting or caring for an elderly relative or friend who is unwell, get advice from www.nhs.uk/asap or see your local pharmacist to help manage their care.
  • If you know of an elderly relative or friend who has a bad cough, trouble breathing, a cold or sore throat, get advice from www.nhs.uk/asap or see your local pharmacist before it gets worse.
  • If you’re feeling under the weather, get help as soon as possible. Get advice from www.nhs.uk/asap or see your local pharmacist.
  • Local pharmacists provide expert advice to help you manage your long-term condition or can even help you if you have a bad cough, trouble breathing, a cold or sore throat. They have longer opening hours than GP practices, and most have a private consultation area. They’ll also tell you if they think you should see a doctor.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

Clinical Commissioning Groups are groups of GPs that are responsible for designing local health services In England. Locally, CCGs commission (buy) health services including planned hospital care, rehabilitative care, urgent and emergency care (including out of hours services), most community health services, and mental health and learning disability services.

NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group is made up of 23 GP practices and covers a population of around 112,000 patients.

Clinicians are in the driving seat in NHS West Lancashire CCG and each of the 23 member practices has elected one of their doctors to sit on a Membership Council.  The Membership Council determines what the CCG’s priorities should be.

The work of the CCG is overseen by a governing body which is chaired by a local GP and includes two lay members, a nurse and specialist clinician from outside of the area, a chief officer, a chief financial officer, and 5 other GPs from the local area.

For further information please contact the media team at NHS Lancashire and Staffordshire CSU on 01772 214104.